Cartel Turf War Breaks Out in Mexico Over "Big Dollar" Migrants

Border Hawk

Apr 1, 2024

Border Hawk

Why have the flows of illegal migration into the United States shifted radically in 2024?

Border expert Auden Cabello explains how Mexican authorities have cracked down on illegal migration through states controlled by the government while regions with strong cartel presence have seen increased smuggling and migration traffic in recent months.

Many of the poorest migrants travel north via the cheapest methods possible, such as riding atop "La Bestia" before hopping on trains that eventually stop in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras in Coahuila, where they either wait for CBP One appointments or attempt illegal crossings into Eagle Pass, Texas, with the help of NGOs and corrupt officials.

Meanwhile, migrants who can afford flights or hefty smuggling fees often end up illegally entering other areas in Texas, Arizona, or California via the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, or Sonora, where cartels operate with impunity.

Cabello says there is "turf war" playing out in southern Mexico among criminal networks vying for "big dollar migrants" who are willing to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.

He also warns of an unfolding "spring surge" as waves of migrants begin embarking in caravans and hopping trains to the U.S. as the weather improves and Mexican authorities tire of holding the line.